Does it matter?
Everything in the world boils down to relationships. Whether it is romantic, familial, friendships and acquaintances, trying to get into the latest restaurant, gaining employment itself, or working with colleagues. I would contend that we are either freed with our relationships or trapped.
So, yeah, it absolutely matters.
An organization is a complex overview of smaller systems that all work separately, but in cohesion for final output. Organizational Psychology is the study of human behavior that both affects work and is affected by work. When looking at the organization as multiple systems, it only works within the confines of the business unit that is driving it. Therefore, human behavior, or the study of organizational psychology, is the reason for success or failure in that business unit or system.
We can assume that if one system fails, it will significantly affect the other systems or units within the organization. Much like an immune system, we need every component or system to operate at its healthiest for the organization to work properly. We must constantly tend to each system (starting with human behavior) to alleviate potential hazards or symptoms before they begin to tamper with the overall organization. If you sneeze more than three times in a row, you may be looking for attention, have an allergic reaction, or may have contracted the flu. The leader must figure out the problem and work with the team to build the best solution. And whether the individual needs attention, is subject to an allergy, or is sick; all concerns are valid.
A quick tip: Maybe start with “How are you feeling?” #EmotionalAwarenes
Can't I just Force my People to Produce?
The go-to for some of today's management is to force success, which they call "business acumen." Pretending that employee emotional matters are irrelevant to the work, is a dying notion. It's also completely wrong. Although this may achieve in the short term (consider: Merril Lynch, Enron, Wells Fargo, some little league coaches), it typically has outstanding long-term effects (consider: Merril Lynch, Enron, Wells Fargo, some little league coaches). Mistaking business acumen for aggression is a symptom of a non-emotionally aware leader.
There is an awful lot baked into this little section of my post. Trying to avoid political discussion is hard for me, but I am in awe of "alphas" leading teams. See my book on Toxic Leadership, "The Perils of Toxic Leadership," where I use science and data to dispel the prowess of hard-nosed leaders. #SelfPlug #ToxicSelfPlug
Side Note: Later in this writing journey, we will delve into the topic(s) mentioned above, and I assume death threats will be my prize. People really-REALLY hate change, especially regarding self-realization/actualization that they may be required to change and evolve to exist in our society.
One Unhappy Person on One Team Can Infect the Whole Organization.
Leaders should be equipped to handle and care for the health of their units. The main focal point is that their people are not robots, but people. We, humans, have complex thoughts, emotions, and ideals; our needs expand beyond the financial factor of employment, and those needs change. So, leaders should not be surprised when a hire from 9 months ago is suddenly unhappy with their work situation.
An astute leader will first look at themselves and the culture they permeate for the “why.” The unhappy individual is a symptom, and before the symptom affects the rest of the components within your business unit, the leader must tend to that symptom. Sometimes the individual cannot be helped, but usually, the individual needs can be addressed in a manner that heals the symptom, saves the expense of replacement (the average cost to replace an employee is $14,500), and avoids secondary damages to the team. #PeopleMatter
Leadership is Powerful.
Leaders are powerful, can and will make or break an entity, and must be treated as such. When a leader or leaders are incapable of evolving themselves and healing the broken link in the business unit, the broken aspect of the business begins to affect the workplace culture. This is the beginning of a toxic climate and hastens the downward spiral.
Again, I cannot stress this enough; change starts with the individual. If you want others to change, first recognize what you need to change, and go ahead and change it.
How to be Great?
If you want to be a great leader, be emotionally aware, portray the ideals you wish to be reflected within your organization, recognize that external factors absolutely influence individuals (family, love life, the commute, etc.), and treat your people the way people should be treated. You’re not perfect; how can we expect them to be?
Whether it is business, government, community, family, or a little league team; we are all connected, and how we talk to each other is how we cement that connection. A little goes a long way.